The Path Keeper

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Pub Date 28 May 2019 | Archive Date 30 Apr 2019

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A New YA Series for Adults! The Path Keeper is book 1 in the upcoming Indigo Chronicles by N.J. Simmonds

The forbidden romance of Twilight

The brutality of Game of Thrones

The grittiness of A Court of Thorns and Roses

Ella hates London. She misses her old life in Spain and is struggling to get over her past—until she meets Zac. He’s always loved her but isn’t meant to be part of her story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense. A world full of danger, lies and magic.

The Path Keeper is a passionate tale of first loves, second chances and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?

The Path Keeper is a coming of age tale with a 19 year-old protagonist. It contains maturer and darker themes of sex, swearing and other topics such as angels, reincarnation and past lives that appeal to the upper YA age (15+) and adults.

A New YA Series for Adults! The Path Keeper is book 1 in the upcoming Indigo Chronicles by N.J. Simmonds

The forbidden romance of Twilight

The brutality of Game of Thrones

The grittiness of A...

A Note From the Publisher

Also available in: Trade Softcover (ISBN: 978-1-947727-81-6, $15.95) and Ebook (ISBN: 978-1-947727-82-3, $7.99) Ebook availability through Overdrive.

About the author: Natali Drake, who writes under the pen name of N.J. Simmonds, has written articles for various UK newspapers and online publications. In 2015 she co-founded the online magazine The Glass House Girls and is a regular contributor. Originally from north London, Natali studied feature writing at City University and began her career in corporate publishing and marketing before moving to Spain to write and to raise her family. She now divides her time between her two homes in the Netherlands and Spain with her husband and two daughters. The Path Keeper is her debut novel.

Also available in: Trade Softcover (ISBN: 978-1-947727-81-6, $15.95) and Ebook (ISBN: 978-1-947727-82-3, $7.99) Ebook availability through Overdrive.

About the author: Natali Drake, who writes...

Advance Praise

"This is urban fantasy at its best. Fresh, beautiful, and moving, I literally couldn't put it down." — Anna Day, internationally acclaimed author of The Fandom

"This is urban fantasy at its best. Fresh, beautiful, and moving, I literally couldn't put it down." — Anna Day, internationally acclaimed author of The Fandom

Marketing Plan

• Guest author and panelist at 2019 YALC in London

• Promotion at London and Frankfort book fair

• National review coverage

• Digital ARCs and extensive marketing promotions on NetGalley

• Targeted email marketing to ALA and librarian community

• Author appearances and signings at select bookstores

• Reading group guides and author presentations tailored for libraries and book clubs

• Print and online advertising and marketing promotion

• Extensive magazine and blogger outreach for editorial coverage and features

• Exclusive digital content created for YA market including posters, bookmarks, and quizzes

• Dedicated author street team of 100+ members assisting with book promotion

• Lead title in upcoming YA sampler by BHC Press

• Hardcover edition features an exclusive Indigo Chronicles story, "One Day I'll Fly Away."

• The softcover and hardcover editions feature different cover art.

• Guest author and panelist at 2019 YALC in London

• Promotion at London and Frankfort book fair

• National review coverage

• Digital ARCs and extensive marketing promotions on NetGalley


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781947727809
PRICE $26.95 (USD)

Average rating from 167 members

Featured Reviews

I found The Path Keeper a deep and moving, but magical reading experience. This book will have you falling in love with Ella and Zac while spectating the process of there beautiful love story. This definitely isn't my usual reading style, and I was hesitant to pick this one up, but it was one hundred percent worth it. I would recommend this book to everyone.

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Thank you to BHC Press for the arc of this wonderful book!
I loved this book, wether it’s because I believe in fate/destiny or am just a hopeless romantic, who knows.
I knew from the first page I was going to love this book, it’s very well written, and I loved how all their fates were linked, I really just don’t have the words to say how good this book was, not a typical boy meets girl story.
That ending though, my heart was in my mouth, I hope there won’t be a long wait for the second book.

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I received a copy of THE PATH KEEPER from the publisher. My review is unbiased and honest based on my thoughts on the book.

THE PATH KEEPER is a wonderful YA romance, turned up to include numerous layers over multiple timelines. Ella is by far my favorite character in the book, and she felt like the strongest to me. Her development is fuller and she stands out bright in the story. That’s not to say other characters are flat. Simmonds weaves together lives and timelines to create a masterful romance.

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I loved this even though it had some tough topics and was a emotional rollercoaster I was hooked from the very beginning and I really want more now. I really loved the characters especially Ella and Zac I really liked the bits of other characters though time it was all written so well. I really loved the story all of it I really liked the urban fantasy and the angel stuff I really enjoy fiction about angels. This story was so very emotionally charged and I really want to read more so hopefully there will be a another book at some point. So overall I loved this book will buy me a hardcover with this book actually comes out.
-Got this book off of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review-

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This book though... 💖💔😭💥🔮💫👼💌🤬☠ 

I don't even think I can properly review it without screaming akjkssjk! It's such a beautiful blend of history, fiction, star-crossed romance, mystery, and mythology. How N.J. Simmonds pulled it off deserves all the awards. 

I originally requested The Path Keeper on Netgalley late last year and got approved pretty quick. Unfortunately, it sat on my kindle for awhile due to IRL stuff. I finally started reading it about a week ago and if it weren't for my job and sleep I would have read it in one sitting. I couldn't read it fast enough. I didn't want it to end. I need the sequel asap.

"A single feather floated past Ella, a white speck against a deathly black sky. She caught it and held it to her lips. She knew mistakes didn’t happen in Zac’s world, but miracles did."

Ella is our sarcastic relatable main character who loves saying f*ck and is just trying to get through each day. That's until she meets the mysterious new stranger, Zac. 'What's his deal anyway?' From that moment on you're on a rollercoaster and the story never stops. 

I literally canNOT wait to read the next book. Thank god (or not? 😂) that this is a series! 💕📚 

If you love Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, The Adjustment Bureau (2011), Legion (2010), Fallen, or dare I say Romeo and Juliet then you need to read this book!

There are some triggers but I won't post them here because I can't tag spoilers on Netgalley.

***Thank you so much to Netgalley and BHC Press for giving me the opportunity to read The Path Keeper.***

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So this book really surprised me. I went into it blind not wanting to spoil or know anything until I began to read, and Wow just wow. The writing drew me in and then suddenly I couldn’t put it down. I was transported into these intertwining lives full of love and loss and then BAM ANGELS. The plot was really interesting and new and completely hooked me and I liked the fact that none of the relationships were happily completed. They were real and raw, full of mistakes and second chances and I found I could relate to each character. This wasn’t your normal run of the mill boy meets girl and they fall in love and she finds he is an angel. This was better.... this was different and I adored it. Thank you N.J. For the chance to read this beautiful book and now I really want the second one!!

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N.J. Simmonds - The Path Keeper

This book kept me engaged the entire time.  I had to know what would happen next to Ella and Zac.  Some chapters where written in an old British style that was slightly difficult to read.
Toodles, Tiffany

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Received this book as an ARC through netgalley. I actually really enjoyed this book. I am not into religion in the least and thought the whole premise of this book was about to be lost on me when Zac revealed himself as an angel, however I pushed on and boy am I glad that I did. Beyond that this pushes into semi religious territory, I was taken by this book pretty quickly and have even already recommended it. The writing was very good and kept me intrigued. I get BORED with the typical love stories in books and this one definitely was not typical. Highly recommend! 4.5 stars ⭐️

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I love YA and fantasy romance but I don't like very much angels, anyway I was intrigued by the plot so I decided to read this one. The book is well written and I think I will read the next one. I liked Zack but I didn't like what happened between Ella and her stepbrother and the fact that it was never mentioned how she coped after what happened. Usually I don't like flashbacks but in this case are really essential for the story. I think in the next book we will know more about their life in Fiesole and I am pleased that there is a bit of my country in the book and that the city isn't Rome or Venice but I little town near Florence.

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The story is set in modern day London where we meet 18 year old Ella, in all of her brashness, abusing a rude bus driver. Enter Zac, who approaches her and offers his help. Ella is mesmerized by this intriguing stranger and an emotional tug of war ensues; Zac drawn to her, even though he knows it’s against the rules, and Ella wrestling with her compulsive need to throw herself at him, then hating him for pulling away. Why is it against the rules for Ella and Zac to fall love???? Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out! We follow the pair in this present life as Ella unravels the secret of what Zac really is and we also delve into the past lives of Ella and her parents and see how their choices from the past hold weight in the present.

While the storyline is compelling, I felt the execution could have done with further refinement in regard to character building. The characters just didn’t feel fully expressed to me and I struggled to form a connection with Ella and Zac. It was as though the author knew how they felt and why, but didn’t explain it to the reader. Consequently, much of the love, drama and struggle in their relationship felt rushed and confusing to me. I was left guessing why Ella or Zac would react a certain way because I hadn’t heard how they were feeling and what they were thinking.

The historical content from past lives shared and the back story of various characters was wonderful. I relished discovering how the journey of the characters’ souls interwove and effected their current lives. The author’s descriptions of other eras and ways of life was engrossing. Her descriptive writing is lovely as she sets scenes in WW2 London or describes picturesque places in Spain. I could see myself there drinking in the view. And speaking of drinking, there is an exclusive bar named Indigo in the book that is staffed by hot angels. I would very much like to find it!

Unlike most YA books, the sexual content of The Path Keeper is rather explicit. There’s a good dose of profanity as well from feisty Ella. I think this, coupled with the spiritual content of The Path Keeper, make it a good read for ‘not so young adults’. Adult fans of YA who want a bit more substance and romance action will appreciate this author’s style which I think is the market she was aiming at.

I've given The Path Keeper 3 out of 5 stars (bearing in mind that a five means perfection). All in all, a great debut effort from NJ Simmonds with plenty of room for growth in a promising new series.

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After reading The Path Keeper when it was first published and this current version. This time the story doesn't feel rushed, you're able to immerse yourself more in their world. You will fall in with characters leaving you wanting to know more. I am looking forward for book 2 and seeing where their story goes.

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The story mainly follows Ella and Zac although they have many lifetimes. A few are included in the story. In the beginning Zac gave Ella (and me) whiplash with his extreme change in moods. At times he was a bit mean towards her and it seemed out of place. The background of what Zac is was interesting and made me think. There is a trigger warning for this book for sexual assault. You can skip that part and not miss out on the rest of the book. The book does end with a twist and a cliffhanger. Overall, I can't wait for the next one to see what happens.

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This book was received as an ARC from BHC Press - H2O in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was not expecting to love this book, but I really do! We always wonder if our lives are pre-planned or mapped out for us and what is truly meant to be. For Ella is to be in Spain with the love of her life Zac but it seems that Zac was not supposed to be a part of her life and if they get together, their lives will be in danger. This is an adventure and a love story all wrapped into one. This book defines that love is the greatest power and the greatest strength that anyone will ever have and NOTHING not even the Map of your life can destroy it. Such a heartwarming enticing adventure that will leave you breathless and wanting more.

We will consider adding this title to our YFiction collection in our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

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From the very first page, I knew I was in for a treat. I requested an ARC for this because I was intrigued by the promise of "a world full of danger, lies and magic" in the synopsis. I didn't know what to expect but I did suspect angels had some part of it based on the beautiful cover art.

I devoured this book - I was fully invested in all of it and I couldn't wait to read more. I started reading it around 10 PM and had to put it down around 1 AM so that I would be functional for work the following day. But I only had about 20% left to read so I decided to wake up an hour earlier than I usually do to finish it. That was a huge mistake as I didn't know what to do with myself for a good 20 minutes or so after finishing it. How was I expected to go out and function as an adult when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed, immensely saddened by the cliffhanger? This was one of those books that made me feel a certain way that's hard to express. I loved it but it stirred a deeper emotion in me. I felt connected to Ella and her personal journey of love and discovery in the same way I was connected to Zac and his personal turmoil and inner conflict. I loved their love story - it was so genuine and heartfelt. All of the characters, main or supporting, had a role to play and a part to weave in their web of intertwined history. The connections between the characters and the past and present were done effortlessly and were so easy to follow, understand and get sucked in to.

This was so brilliantly done. I don't know what more to say because I don't think my words would do it justice. I can't wait to devour the next book in this series!

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I'm relatively new to this genre, I have only recently starting branching out and trying something a little different and I had a little trepidation when it came to choosing. I am so so glad The Path Keeper was one of those books I chose!

I was initially drawn in by the premise of the story, the blurb was interesting and didn't give too much away so left me intrigued. I was completely invested within the first few chapters and I fell in love with Ella as a character. She's a great protagonist, down to earth and easily relatable. I love the introduction of Angels but it also doesn't completely overpower the story. And the relationship between Zac and Ella is breathtakingly authentic - not your typical boy meets girl story. There are peaks and troughs, mistakes and second chances.

A really fabulous read that will leave you yearning for more! SEQUEL PLEASE!

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Once in awhile I like to dip my toe into the world of Fantasy and I am always a sucker for a good romance/true love story, you know the ones that fill your head with hearts and leave you breathless as the words describe two souls connecting forever. If you are like me than this book is definitely for you!

The story of Ella and Zac, are they meant to spend their forever together?

The creativity that went into weaving this story and the way the different lives connected over generations was truly genius!

The words so brilliantly crafted they just fall off the pages into you brain and at some point connect to your heart so that you have to keep reading to see where this magically tale takes you!

I highly recommend this novel and can not wait to read the second book in this series!

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This book was pretty strange, not in a bad way I actually really enjoyed it but I found myself saying what the heck a lot. its lot different to the books I normally read but that didn’t stop me from reading it in one sitting, I really did enjoy it.
I loved the romance side of the book, the whole forbidden love really kept me reading on, I got a twilight feel from the book not and again, I did like Ella way more than I liked Bella out of twilight as well, I loved that she had a potty mouth and that she was not a silly naïve celebrity like her mum wanted her to be or how I imagined she was going to be at the beginning. I really liked Zac and that even though he knew he shouldn’t be letting himself get so close to her, he couldn’t help himself. aah there’s so much I could say about him but I don’t want to give anything away!
I also liked the writing style! It had a real British feel to it especially when it went back in time. The reason I only gave this book a 4 star is because it wasn’t something I was itching to get back to reading and took me a lot longer than I want to admit to finish it.
I definitely think is worth a read if your into angels, forbidden love, time travel of sorts and all that good stuff then you should give this a try!

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This was the first YA book I have read as it’s not my usual genre. I always assumed YA books were aimed at teenagers. Well I can safely say, at least as far as this book is concerned, I think I was wrong.
I loved this book and highly recommend it. It captured me completely and I could not put it down. It is predominantly a story about young love and the choices we make in life, but with a little twist. The concept behind the story will stay in my head for a long time. Without wanting to give away any spoilers, I will just say that the idea behind the whole plot certainly makes you think twice and makes you question certain aspects of life. It echoed many of my personal and spiritual interests and beliefs and has helped explain a few thoughts and ideas that I have had mulling around in my head for most of my adulthood, making this story both relatable and realistic.
N.J. Simmonds has brought the concept of soulmates and destiny to life and I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.

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I loved this book! It wasn’t anything like I was expecting a YA book to be like.
I loved the way the author drew you in straight away with a strong feisty character in Ella. Zac also intrigued me, I wanted to find out more about him and I enjoyed reading about their connection.
Such a page turner of a book! I cannot wait to read book two of the series.
I bet this book would make a fabulous film, something I would definitely want to watch.

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Oh my! I REALLY enjoyed this book (took me longer to read than I had hoped due to life getting in the way recently!)

This book made me question so many things! But it was so nice to see at the end that some of the events in the book and real!
This amazing book had me upset with loss and so happy for the love that Ella and Zac had together.

I really enjoyed this book from start to finish and I do adore the cover too 😂❤️

can't wait for book 2 ❤️

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The Path Keeper is an amazing book. I'm not sure that it's fair to class this book as just YA as it's so much more than that. Yes, there are YA elements to this book, but also elements of fantasy, romance, historical fiction and more.

The author nailed the main characters, they were believable and endearing. Ella, a young adult torn between family issues and trying to find her own way. Zac, the handsome, mysterious stranger.
The plot was unique and creative. As the story progresses you realize it so much more than what you thought; the characters more complex, the story more in depth. The story is a journey of destiny and the questioning of fate, interwoven with love and fantasy, stretching across lifetimes.

I really don't want to say too much and give the story away. It is better to experience this book first hand but I highly recommend this book. I can't wait to read more from this author.

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"What if our lives were mapped out before birth? Does anyone have the power to change their destiny?" (Quote from blurb)

I really enjoyed this book, it has an original plot, is fun and is well written. the pace of the story is good, moving you on quickly but with enough time to thoroughly build the world and the characters. This book is about a interesting young lady, living in London, called Ella. She meets a guy with a secret that will change her world forever. She discovers that their world is dangerous and magical and discovers if love is stronger than fate. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy with a touch of romance.

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I choose this book, because the tittle remember me Patch, from Hush Hush (LOL). It surprise me, cause they show another view about religion, a word without God and the Heaven being commanded by the Archangels, Mikhael as their leader. The remember me the Fallen Series, where the couple failed to be together, cause Luci always died when Daniel kissed her. The only think that annoyed me was the drama Ella always do. I think I've been reading a lot books that the girl doesn't need a boy to doing great things, like destroyed a King and his monarchy. I can't wait for the second book. The finale was great.

The rest of my review could be read in my blog:

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I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review. I really enjoyed this book, it's not your typical YA book. I feel like it should be more New Adult rather than Young Adult simply because of some of the mature content. It was a fast read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you Netgally and BHC Press!

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Honestly, I was hooked from the get go! Outside the realm of my usual book choices, this was packed with all sorts of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. The history aspect and relation to today’s London is relatable to any local reader (especially anyone who’s been stuck on a packed bus or tube). Although there were a number of interwoven story-lines, it was written in away that still allowed the reader to stay on track. I also quite enjoyed the alternative religious notions presented in this book. And, although they are written as ‘just a bit of fun’ by thw writer, they are also quite thought-provoking.
I loved it and can’t wait to read the next installment.

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I loved this book, I couldn't put it down and was sad when it ended.
It's well written and with a great plot that mixes different genres creating something unique and original.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

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The Path Keepers
N.J. Simmonds

What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?
Natali Drake, who writes under the pen name of N. J. Simmonds debut novel.
The Path Keepers is compelling Novel that intrigues and engages you.
Simmonds’s well developed characters and creative storyline is sure to keep you In suspense. Star crossed romance and thrilling twists.
This one book, that you will not be able to put down. Enjoyable historical elements mixed with mythology. I am looking forward to more of N.J. Simmonds writing.

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I 100% admit that the cover (and title) drew my attention to this book first - then the synopsis had me intrigued...

"What if our lives were mapped out before birth? Does anyone have the power to change their destiny?

Ella hates London. She misses her old life in Spain and is struggling to get over her past—until she meets Zac. He’s always loved her but isn’t meant to be part of her story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense. A world full of danger, lies and magic.

The Path Keeper is a passionate tale of first loves, second chances and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?"

***********Possible Spoilers**************

I have a tendency to forget the descriptions of books when I am reading on kindle and so as I began I was thinking - Who is Zac? Who is Ella? What is his Job? And as I continued to read I wondered if he was her guardian, did he only watch over her or others too, was he a fate, some kind of destiny, cupid even?

Ella as a character was fun, well written and was refreshingly normal despite what was occurring, I loved her slips into Spanish whenever something went wrong! Zac was instantly likeable despite his outbursts, but you have a good idea that something is not as it seems and make allowances! Her mother had her moments, but mostly she annoyed me, later on I realised why she could be the way she was and it didn't make it okay but it did allow for some understanding,

The switch to the 1940s initially threw me but by this point I had figured out enough to realise Evie was one of Ellas previous incarnations, and as the war time story progressed with Dolly and Ted and we gained insight into the workings of everything. I love the concept.

From this point we learned more and more (though Ella did not straight away) and I adored how everyone in the different time periods came to be who and where they were. I was glad that we heard her mums story and I loved the way everything tied together with all our characters. It made me happy, but also sad because she didn't know who Julianna was and I also really liked the little link to the de Silva's. I don't know if this will become more relevant down the line?

I really liked this version of history, I liked that they (Ella and Zac) had been together in their first lives, that they were the ones who were really meant to be and that we discover important things towards the end that are going to be vital moving forward but we don't fully understand the consequences yet.
We have to wait, and we have to have faith. And I love it!

Thank you to the author and publishers for this ARC edition.

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I really don't know how to put my feelings into words. I love Zac! There...I said it! I've fallen for him and I don't want to come back to reality. I think The Path Keeper is a fantastic beginning for a series that pushes the boundaries on YA+ novels. It gives young adults, not teens, something to read where they can relate to the characters. You know...those in college, trying to learn who they really are...yea those kinds of people, we need more representation for them and this is the book to start with.

Talk about a cliffhanger...I apologize for this terrible review but I need time to really get my thought straight. This book ripped my heart out but I need the second one already!

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The synopsis of this book was really good. I was expecting an angel story but it was much more than that. I liked the fate concept. Choosing our paths were really good idea. Writing was good. I liked the ending more than beginning. But i am really glad i read it through because in the end i wanted to read more. I can't wait to read more of this story. Especially learning more of Zac's mother.

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I enjoyed the book and really liked it. Waiting to hear more from the author. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the arc.

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When I first jumped into The Path keeper I had no idea what i was going in for. But as soon as I meet Ella I was sold, she has a mouth like a sailor and face like an angel. I Freaking love it. She’s just herself and that’s amazing. I’ve come to love that Zac calls her Rivers, but kept wondering why he seemed to know her so well and she did not. So I dove back into the book to learn more about those two wich seemed destinied to each other. My heart was aching for all the woman we learned and their life, but i think most of all my heart ached for this reincarination aka Ella... She was headstrong, stubborn and funny... but her heart bled for Zac. Poor poor Zac who had to try to pull away, but in the end could'nt.. It was driving me insane how Zac pulled in and out..hell I was getting mad at Zac like come on! You’re supposed to be together! All of those reincarnations, sadness, pain, death… it made me sad…. I wanted the happy ever after… i wanted theirs happily ever after.. . I wanted them to succeed in that area so bad…I sat there and bit my lip, waiting, hoping crossing my fingers as I flickered the pages… i wanted to scream and yell, i felt so much for Ella and For Zac. I came to Love Zac, his stubborn, his love, his everything it was amazing how he choose love over everything, and i bet he'd done it sooner if they'd let him. .. And that ending! I want more.

I need their happily ever after.

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The writing is great, the storyline is something different, and I really liked the characters. The main character is Ella, she’s 19, and the story revolves around her falling for Zac, an angel. But this book is so much more than. I loved the chapters with Dolly and Evie. This was Ella’s previous life. The dialogue and character descriptions here were spot on and I felt as if I were in London during the war. There were other reincarnations too, and everything linked and formed the story. Sebastian was the creep of the story and boy was he written well. He makes my skin crawl just even typing his name in my review. He’s Ella’s stepbrother. I wasn’t sure about Ella’s mother Felicity, but her storyline made so much sense as the plot unfolded.

There was so much to love about this book. I loved the historical elements, I loved the chapters on different lives, and I loved how everything came full circle. It was well written and I’m looking forward to reading into book 2 to see what happens next for Ella and Zac.

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This book centrally is not what you’d expect. This story is not just a Twilight romance where boy meets girl and they instantly fall in love. Zac and Ella’s story is more than what meets the eye.

The premise of the story is Zac, an angel, was never, I mean NEVER supposed to interact with Ella, a human. The main point of Angels is that they are just sort of there to ensure that Humans don’t stray away from their destiny which is pretty cliche. So basically, like Twilight and Fallen, Zac and Ella were never supposed to meet so their love is forbidden.

This is not an original concept but the author takes the concept in a good direction by using urban fantasy. The plot does use an urban setting that truly gave the novel some intrigue.


The romance may have been very cliche at times but don’t we all love that, the feeling of knowing the couple will be together but worrying about the risk anyway
Angels. Just straight up Angels.
Forbidden Romance – This could have honestly been turned into my kind of chick flick.
The cover is beautiful no matter what edition you choose.


The usage of sensitive topics was not covered in a great way, anyone can have trouble writing about suicide and sexual assault. Just it feels like these topics could have been at least researched, it felt like the author didn’t know what they were writing about.
Stereotypical romance – This is just something I love but also hate. It’s not entirely black and white but some elements just make the story bland and this is sadly one of them.
Zac’s “stalking” of Ella.


I can’t personally say I hated this book. There were things I loved and things that I genuinely thought made the book boring. Does this mean it’s a bad book, no. I just personally had my qualms with it is all.

Even with the problems I found, I’m still giving this 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a book I think people just need to go into not knowing very much.

ARC provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This book was an enjoyable read for me. Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. I would be interested in reading more from this author in the future!

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I wasn't sure what to expect, but I enjoyed reading this. An interesting story with fun characters. Well written.

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Romance as a main plot isn't usually my cup of tea, but I follow N J Simmonds on Twitter and she's so lovely and supportive in the community I had to read the book I'd been hearing her talk about throughout its creation.

As a romance in itself I probably wouldn't have read The Path Keeper, but a Fantasy with adult themes? Count me in!

The story of Zac and Ella was so endearing. There was something really pure and beautiful in the way Simmonds described their relationship. I loved that the characters lives all intertwined throughout the past and present timelines in this novel.

Simmonds did a fantastic job of combining real world historical events with a fictional fantasy plot and I thoroughly enjoyed her take on religion. I'd happily accept love as the basis of existence.

The writing flowed nicely and I had no struggles jumping back and forth between timelines and characters. Each chapter ended on a perfect note, urging me to keep turning the pages.

The Path Keeper holds strong themes of motherhood and the bond between mother and child. I was heavily invested in many of the characters and found myself clinging to the hope of a happy ending (for most of them).

Simmonds ended this story in such a way that you can choose to read it as a stand alone or decide to continue the series to find out what happens next...

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I was not expecting this story from the blurb. I love everything about this book. The characters were amazing and well rounded. The world building and religious element well thought out and it had me guessing and working out timelines. It truly was a great story and I can not wait for the next book!

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This was the first book I've read from this author and I really enjoyed it. The story was different from anything I've read recently and really captured my attention. It was so well written and the characters were fantastic. I see that it's the first book in a series so I'm looking forward to reading the rest when they come out.

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I loved reading this mix of both Fantasy and YA. It contained the best of both worlds, and was interesting until the very end. I would definitely recommend this book to my students.

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Our main characters are Ella and Zac. She, rich and famous after her mother’s marriage to a famous hotel owner, he, mysterious and incredibly attractive (‘hot’ and ‘sexy’). They fall for each other, but he knows their love can’t be. Ella doesn’t understand why Zac is trying to run away from her when she’s sure he likes her as well.

While the forbidden love theme is quite common, the rest of the story is what makes it so great. It’s hard to explain without spoiling everything, since the explanations intertwine. I’ll give you a minor spoiler, a tiny one, just so I can explain why this appeals so much to me. Reincarnation exists. The love that people share are likely lovers from a previous life, but that’s totally up to that person.

I’m a romantic person, and the idea that your love can span centuries warms my heart. The love Zac and Ella share is beautiful, tragic, cruel and heartwarming.

N. J. Simmonds has created a great cast of characters. All of them have their own story and even the minor characters show growth. She knows how to convey their feelings and make them believable. They are the strength of this book.

The Path Keeper has everything I wanted when I needed my YA romance fix and more. The wonderful characters, excellent writing and interesting story mechanisms kept me reading until I reached the back cover. I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book. I can’t give this book anything less than five stars, and it’s well deserved.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the review copy!

This cover is stunning. The concept was so unique. I loved this book. I would have loved to have gotten to know some of the characters more and received more detailing on them but I think the author did a great job. The plot was great. The world building very good. I really loved Ella and Zack.

I think this is worth a read so pick it up!

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I knew very little about the actual plot of The Path Keeper before I started reading it. Initially, I was a little confused as there's a lot of jumping between times. We are placed in the present day, to begin with before being flirted throughout time to different characters story ARCS....but there's a reason and my oh my is it clever.

I love anything that plays a little with reincarnation. One of my favourite series was Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz which this really reminded me of. It felt so nostalgic.

I found Ella and Zac's interactions and subsequent relationship very rewarding considering how reincarnation was utilised. Their instant connection was easily understood and it made you root for them. Even in the darkest of times. Even alone Ella’s characterisation is fantastic. You get a real sense of who she is and what her morals are. She's far more intelligent than she lets on but she isn't infallible. All throughout Zac intrigued me. I kept trying to guess what his purpose was. I managed, though not long before it was revealed mind! I love how it was explicitly stated at the start of the book, it really kept me hooked.

By far my favourite moment came in the Indigo bar. What a brilliant setting, the way it was described made it feel so vivid. In fact, all the settings were described wonderfully. I could visualise all the different places in the book.

My only gripe? I need the next book now. I need to know what that ending meant!

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I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I was nervous at first. There was a huge time jump, which was easy enough to read, and I started getting super duper invested. I started to see how the stories all tied together, and then I was rolling around on the floor squealing when I finally figured it out. I’m bursting at the seams, guys, and I need some serious help. I was hooked immediately into the easy writing style and world that NJ Simmons has created!

I am glad, though, that there was a huge warning about explicit sex, sexual abuse and violence, but these scenes were all very vital to the plot of the entire novel, and I never felt like one was over used. The characters were well developed, however I wish that we had learnt more about Felicity, especially near the beginning of the novel, because although it did tie in with the whole plot, I was left vaguely annoyed by her presence in the book. I also felt that there was a tad too much “I have to leave, it’s for your own good” and “no, please, I need you!” and “Okay, but only because you need me”, and it turned into a bit of a vicious cycle, up until we reach pt. 2, and then it’s a home run! (Did I get the sports metaphor right?)

This is a book that you definitely need to read, especially if you love books that leave you in constant suspense! Another winning point for me was, as a lot of people know, I am a sucker for a poem at the beginning of a book, and The Path Keeper started out with the 1997 poem ‘Tell Me Who I Am’ by Robert George Dew. Also, the dedication said ‘May we meet again…” which I immediately related to The 100, one of the best CW shows EVER!


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A Compelling Fantasy that Proves There are No Boundaries to True Love

Stunning debut novel, The Path Keeper by N.J. Simmonds delivers an emotional and complex storyline full of fantasy, unrequited love (at least to start with), re-incarnation and twisted love stories of souls re-connecting as they meet time and time again fighting to find eternal love.

Ella is the feisty heroine and we are introduced to her as she struggles to come to terms with her new London life where she lives with her Mother and new Father in law. Ella is smart-mouthed and sassy, and I love her constant use of Spanish profanities. This quote from the book brilliantly describes Ella;
“How could I forget the girl with a face on an angel and the mouth of a sailor?”.

One day, Ella meets a mysterious young man by the name of Zac at a bus stop not far from her home. This chance or as we find out later not so much by chance meeting sets up a rather turbulent and complicated love story. Zac becomes a kind of guardian angel for Ella as he constantly seems to appear in places at the right time to rescue her.

From their first meeting, Ella finds things vaguely familiar about Zac but she cannot seem to pin point ‘Why’? Zac, of course, knows a huge secret. He and Ella have history, even if she can not remember it, but he cannot share his secret with Ella. He also knows he should be keeping his distance from Ella but this time, for some reason, he can’t seem to walk away.

Slowly, bit by bit through flashbacks and snippets of information of their past lives, we start to piece together the puzzle of why Ella and Zac’s love is forbidden. We finally understand why it is so dangerous for Ella and Zac to be together. Will this tear them apart again, or will they choose to fight for their eternal love?

Simmonds is a skilful writer who knows exactly how to paint vivid picture’s in her often funny and entertaining prose. Many of the hilarious phrases she used to describe the characters had me laughing out loud as I could see the characters so clearly – it was like they were in the room with me. Her talented writing style doesn’t end there. She adeptly merges history with current day and fantasy with realism as she ultimately recounts a love story of two intertwined souls unknowingly searching for eternal love.

I must admit I was a little dubious about the book as the trilogy was not a genre I would usually read or enjoy. I thought it would be another Twilight style series. Boy was I wrong! I was engrossed in the book from the very first page. I related to the characters and the settings and with every turn of the page, I became even more captivated. I really think anyone who likes to read a bit of fantasy and romance would thoroughly enjoy the book.

There is, quite rightly, a warning at the front of the book. Strong language and adult scenes mean that this is not your average YA novel. With more mature content, it is certainly suited to a slightly older than 'teen' age group. But don't let that put you off, the language and situations are perfectly placed in this well-written world.

There are so many reasons why you need to start reading The Path Keeper today. BUT be warned - once you do, book one will leave you wanting to read more! Then together, we can anxiously await the release of book two.

Reviewed for The Glass House Book Club

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When I read the synopsis I thought The Path Finder sounded interesting. And I have to say it was. It reminded me of other young adult books but with more a new adult feel. Well I don't feel like the idea reincarnation is new due to books like fallen being large hits, I actually enjoyed the different stories that were brought in to make this a book about reincarnation. I had low expectations after reading some reviews but this is just one of those books that is either going to be your taste or it isn't. I find most books that involve anything religious or mythological are that way, especially if it changes anything from the original writings.
The book is long enough to develop a decent history and story which I find fantasy novels need. I also found it to be quicker read because it kept my attention. Some of the characters weren't that likable and I would have liked to see them be more than they were.
As I said earlier in this review this appears to be one of those books you will either like or hate like many more that have come before it. If your a fan of reincarnation novels I would recommend giving The Path Finder a shot.

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This book was a bit like a puzzle, it took me a while to figure out but once I got the hang of it, I was hooked! Think fate, destiny, reincarnation and soulmates. But this isn’t just a simple story about two soulmates meant to be together through the centuries, this is a story about angels who make Lucifer look like a nice kitten and 3 souls who through the ages have fought to finally get their stories right in each lifetime.

Interweaved into this story is the story of Ella and Zac an archangel (who doesn’t know he’s an archangel btw). Zac has watched over Ella through each lifetime, thoroughly in love with her but not being able to do anything about it until she notices him in this latest lifetime. Unable to stay away from her any longer, Ella and Zac begin a love affair that Zac fights at every step for fear of the repercussions that will come if the archangels were to find out.

This book ends in the mother of all cliffhangers, my jaw literally dropped at that ending and I didn’t know what to think. Definitely get ready for a whirlwind of emotions but you’re definitely going to want to pick this one up. Trust me when I say, you definitely don’t want to pass this book up!

** e-galley provided in exchange for honest review **

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Ok, this is the book I never knew I needed!!

I’ve been researching a lot recently about spirituality, life paths, past lives & reincarnations and soul contracts and this is Fiction & covers a story that focuses on all of them.

You can read it as fantasy or as a ‘what if it’s true’ and it will still be enjoyable!

I absolutely loved this & already eagerly await book 2 in the series!

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An enjoyable read that I was not expecting to be so engrossing! Oh sure I was intrigued but N.J. Simmonds knows how to build up to the end and she weaves multiple lives and pasts in such a great manner, the show of a talented storyteller in my opinion. Honestly, I found this a refreshing take on some old ideas. It's not often that something makes me pause and think 'ah, you know what, I really like the way they did that, it's not something done a lot or at all!' I'm not trying to gush but after a bit of a slow start I thought this really picked up the pace. Not to mention I couldn't get enough of the flashbacks and with an ending like that, I really can't wait for the next book!

It's a rather steamy YA read and be forewarned there is some content warning necessary: Rape, sexual assault, suicidal thoughts and attempt.

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Hello, Fellow Book Worms and Book Dragons!

A thank you to Netgalley, N.J. Simmonds, BHC Press, and Random Things' Anne Cater for allowing the opportunity to receive this book early. Discovering new authors is always a favorite thing for me to do. And with the Path Keeper not only did I discover a new author, but a spin on several genres that left me feeling extremely satisfied at the book's close.

The Path Keeper is written by N.J. Simmonds and is published by BHC Press. In this first book of the Indigo Chronicles we are introduced to Arabella Fantz, an often lonely college student that keeps to herself in her apartment behind her parents' mansion in London. Ella is doing her best to deflect the crazy public relations fiascoes that her mother Felicity sets up. But she cannot escape her step-father Richard's notoriety as a hotel magnate while her mother constantly flutters about trying to keep the family in the spotlight. Her life at her university keeps her sane, as does her charitable heart. One evening while riding the bus home, Ella is forced to walk the rest of the way when a bus driver refuses to let her off at her preferred stop. Since she is carrying books that she plans to donate to a thrift store, her walk will now be harder. As she exits the bus she meets a man named Zac who happens to be headed past the thrift on his way home. He offers to help her carry the books and she accepts. As Ella begins to open up to the stranger, she realizes a feeling of deja' vu that she cannot quite explain.

As the days go on she runs into Zac several times, including at an exclusive club, named Indigo. Ella tries to fight her attraction to this stranger, which begins to become futile. Soon she begins to see vivid visions of events that terrify her. She is surrounded by the dead and she feels the impending approach of death. Zac does his best to help her with dealing with these visions, reassuring her that he will be there for. Unknown to Ella, Zac holds a secret he guards close to him that may endanger her future. What do her visions have to do with the past? What secret does Zac hold from Ella? Two unlikely lovers meet in a struggle to stay together that may shake the very boundaries of heaven and Earth.

The Path Keeper was an enchanting book that pulled me into its world with just a few pages. Simmonds writing style flowed beautifully as I was introduced to a sweeping mythology that covered centuries. Simmonds' way of combining adventure, fantasy, and historical fiction was a refreshing new spin on the genres. As a reader of history, I was particularly intrigued with her retelling of the devastating subway collapse of Bank Station in London on January 11, 1941. It was used in a unique way that did not deter the narrative away from the devastation that had beset London during World War II. Simmonds' handling of several subjects in this book showed the reader how well she also deals with issues that may be a trigger for some, including death, mental health, and sexual assault.

The characters were fleshed out well, and did an excellent job to connect all time periods used. In addition to the present-day story, we travel back in time and meet best friends Dolly and Evie. Their story was very interesting and gave the book a solid historical background that led surprisingly to modern times. With Ella I was given a determined character that managed to stand against many odds. I was invested in her and enjoyed her growth as the story progressed. Zac's mysterious origins were surprising and offered a clever twist on Ella's understanding of religion and humanity. When all time lines converged and carried forward to the book's finale, I was ready for book two immediately.

The Path Keeper was an enthusiastic five stars for me. N.J. Simmonds has taken several genres and has created an entire new mythology that pulled me in almost immediately. The characters were excellently developed. The mythology was solidly written. And the overall mix of genres worked very well to give me a fantastic finale.

"Because there is always time to read."- Xepherus3

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This book focuses on ideas of reincarnation with fate and how our paths are already laid out for us. I thought it was an interesting concept and definitely a book for those interested in urban fantasy.

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The Path Keeper by NJ Simmonds has to be my favourite book one of a series I have ever read! What I don’t understand is why this novel hasn’t blown off the shelves like Twilight, The Hunger Games or Harry Potter! It deserves to be a book on everyone’s book shelf!! It is so amazing that words can’t describe how wonderful it is!!

This is NJ Simmonds debut novel with two more novels for the series.

I don’t even want to write anything for this review because it is one that you need to experience going in blind!!!

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This was my first book by this author, It was pretty enjoyable. I would give this book a 3.5 star rating! It was a pretty Quick and easy read!

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Every character was more interesting than the last. It was impossible NOT to fall in love with Ella and Zac from the start. It was a perfect story with the right amount of magic, adventure and romance. The world-building was FANTASTIC! It was a I-want-to-read-it-in-one-sitting-but-ugghhh-studies! kind of book.
Looking forward to the next book!

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This is a gripping read about past lives and fate and what happens when two people who shouldn't be together fall for each other. N. J. incorporates fantasy and religion in a unique way which makes for an intriguing read. I am definitely curious to see where this series will go next.

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A very exciting start to a new series that clicked all the right boxes for me. Forbidden love is one of my favorite troles and this was such a well written book. I loved it and highly recommend it.

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I really enjoyed reading this book. It was easy to get into and flowed nicely through the story line. The story was complex enough that I didn't guess what was happening and how the characters were intertwined - a interesting development. I can't wait to read the next instalment in the series

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A stunning YA books which draws you in as you follow fiesty Ella and mysterious Zac. I love the premise, the characters and the link between them all. The big reveal was a complete surprise. It is hard to review without giving spoilers but I can't wait to read the second in the story.

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The Path Keeper is one of the books that I’m really nervous about because the reviews indicate that you’ll either love it or detest (and DNF) it, and oh boy were there a lot of DNFs on Goodreads. Since I started blogging here, I only have one book I DNFed. I’m going into this one sincerely hoping I will finish it, and if I’m lucky, enjoy it.

And good news! (as you may have figured from my rating). I’m officially invested enough in this series to click that “Request” button on Netgalley for Book #2 Son of Secrets. Really keen to see where N J Simmonds will take us.

First of all, I have to underline that this book utilises a couple of things that might offend some people. If you’re uncomfortable with religion being used in the plot, then steer clear away from this series. A subset of the community that might get offended is rape and sexual assault victims. It was used in the plot in a sick way. I honestly have no other way to put it without revealing spoilers. It had a point to make, to show how the world in this book works but still…

For the first half of the book, my engagement depended much too heavily on my mood, which is not a good thing. I found that I could only appreciate this book if I let myself feel like a teenager again when emotions used to run amok and respond to a situation more intensely than they do now. I say this because very early in the book, I noticed that the main characters feel too much, resulting in them being super broody or super-expressive/loud, or an odd combination of the two within one conversation. At times the characters’ dialogues were just plain weird; You know how sometimes people react in a way that you didn’t expect at all and you just stand there for a solid two seconds trying to figure out what just happened. That happens a lot for me in this book. Somehow this stopped being an issue in the final 30% of the book, probably because it’s where the plot really picks up the pace.

Other than a comment of appreciation on writing style, I rarely have much to say about the writing because obviously authors and their editors know more about that than me, hence I don’t feel I can contribute anything. Most of the time, I don’t have anything to complain about, anyway. However, for this one, I felt that in a lot of places there’s just not enough description given about the scene that I had trouble picturing it. A simple example (not from this book): “The sun was so bright she had to shield her eyes” vs “The sun was so bright she used her left hand as a visor”. This is just something minor and not really what I actively look for in a book. It’s just that I notice when the author goes out of his/her way to write that out for the readers and I notice it too when it’s missing.

Nevertheless, from the first page, I get the feeling that I’ll love the premise. In the first chapter, you can already figure out that Zac’s no human. From his narrative in that first chapter, you already know he’s in love with Ella and has been for some time. Then, my curiosity gets really going. He’s not supposed to interact with her, but he did and she thought she recognizes him but turned out to not know him at all. Just from that, we know Zac’s guarding a life-changing secret. This secret was revealed earlier than I expected but the great thing is my interest didn’t dwindle after finding out, I got hooked even more. For me, that decided it – The Path Keeper was a good read indeed.

Didn’t intend for this review to be quite so long-winded. I rarely write reviews with buzz-words but here it comes. The Path Keeper: An epic tear-jerker about true eternal love.

Content warnings: Sexual assault; emotional abuse to a child

Thanks to BHC Press for providing me with a copy. All opinions are my own and are based on the advanced digital review copy.

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This book was definitely strange and it managed to succeed in being unlike anything I’ve read before. The premise was sort of Twilight-esk, but with a different creature instead of Vampires. There was certainly a mirrored obsession surrounding the male characters though. As usual, we have a normal female lead who comes across a sexy male and can’t stop thinking about him. If you’d have told me the premise of this book in great detail before I read it, I may not have picked it up, but I did and I ended up enjoying certain aspects of it.

I really liked the mystery and intrigue behind this book, when I started it I had forgotten the blurb so I went in fairly blind. I was definitely taken away with the guessing game of the plot, I wanted to uncover the secrets of the story. I wanted to know who Zac (said sexy man) really was and why he was so into Ella.

I liked seeing this book from both perspectives, Zac and Ella as well as some dipping into the past. I can say for sure that this book wasn’t boring, there was always a new angle/direction that it was taking. I also found it hard to predict where it was going, so that was another good thing because usually with this genre you can tell from the off.

Character-wise I found myself annoyed with Ella as a lead, she seemed very dependent on Zac and that bugged me because she was clearly able to function on her own from when we first meet her. Her mother is a stunning woman, married to a rich guy who seems to provide anything the two desire. This book certainly had the glitz and glamour!

I’m left confused by who the audience for this book is, it seems to have the premise of a teenage book, but the themes of an adult one that shouldn’t be read by teens. I appreciated an older main character because that is rare in young adult books, but I think this could certainly be targeted to the older spectrum of young adult readers. There are certainly a lot of problem themes this book deals with and I think they could be upsetting to younger readers. I’m glad to see the addition of a trigger warning on the finished copy though.

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I remember the first time I read The Path Keeper, I knew a couple of pages in that it was going to be something special, and all those feelings came flooding back to me as I settled down to read it again. I was filled with anticipation at the thought of rediscovering the characters that I fell in love with, and I am pleased to say that my second read was every bit as captivating as the first. Even though I knew the story this time round, I was swept away by beautiful, mysterious Zac and feisty, foul-mouthed Ella.

Besides Zac and Ella’s story, I loved dipping in and out of the lives of different generations of women, and found that this time round I noticed more of the connections between these women. When I am enjoying a book, I sometimes have the tendency to race through it, and miss the little touches that give an added depth, and I delighted in spotting them this time round. I have a feeling that I could return to this book time after time and keep noticing things for the first time with every reading.

I read a lot of fantasy, and honestly, I have read many books that are similar to each other – you start to recognise the same character types and dilemmas occurring time and again. With The Path Keeper, there is none of that. It is one of the most original books I have read in a very long time.

When I first read The Path Keeper, it was marketed as a Young Adult read, I think purely based on the age of Ella. Since than it has been reclassified as purely Fantasy, and this makes me very happy. There are elements that are most definitely not YA, and sadly this has led to some negative reviews in the past that really came about as a result of this being read by the wrong audience. Please pay no attention to any of these are they are completely undeserved. Just rush out now to buy this book so you can read it and be ready for the release of Son of Secrets on 28th May – pop back in a few weeks to read my review of that one.

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This novel is a good one that I’ve read this year! The characters are so dynamic yet relatable. I loved the flow of the story. It held my attention the whole time.

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Loved this book! It was interesting and I’ll be doing a full review on my blog in due course. The characters were well thought out and I’m glad trigger warnings were added

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I immediately fell in love with Ella and Zac ! It's quite rare for me to enjoy MC like that but Ella was a really great one! I really laughed a lot when she was cursing in spanish Zac reflections about her mouth were really funny aswell, Ella is truly an angel with the mouth of a sailor!
I really liked the plot, and the different romances connected to it, there's a multitude of flashbacks and these moments were my favorites. The ideas towards religious and angelic stuff were quite refreshing for this genre and I had a great surprise discovering them.

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The romance oh my, it was so swoony!
If you're looking for a book about angels, romance and a fun time, the path keeper is for you! I remember meeting the author at an event, and she was so sweet! The writing is beautiful and I fell in love with the characters right from the start!

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